Police in Hertfordshire have linked the rape and abduction of a 21-year-old woman in Watford with the rape of two women who were abducted in London.
The woman was raped at around half past three in the morning on Sunday April 21 in Hagden Lane, Watford – four days before the abductions of the two women in Chingford and Edgware.
Scotland Yard named a wanted man in connection with their inquiry as 33-year-old Joseph McCann (pictured), who speaks with a slight Irish accent and uses false names including Joel. The force has offered a £20,000 reward for information that leads to his arrest.
The 21-year-old Watford victim had been forced into a blue Mondeo and driven to locations around the town for the next 6 hours. In that time she was raped.
Herts Police said: “We are investigating the rape of a 21-year-old woman in Watford in the early hours of Sunday April 21. It is believed that a woman was approached by a man holding a knife in Hagden Lane, Watford, close to the junction with Rickmansworth Road at around 3.30am.
“She was forced into a blue Ford Mondeo and driven to numerous locations around the town over the next six hours. These included the Rushton estate in Watford, near to Watford Library on Hempstead Road, North Western Avenue, and the BP garage on Wiggenhall Road. During this time she was raped at an address in the town.
“The incident was reported to us on April 22 and is being investigated by our Sexual Offence Investigation Team, who are providing support to the victim.
“A suspect was identified and a significant amount of work was done to try and locate and arrest him, which proved unsuccessful. The named suspect was circulated on our social media channels as wanted on recall to prison on Thursday (April 25) as a result of our investigation.
“The matter is being linked to the offences currently being investigated by the Metropolitan Police Service. We have been working very closely with them since their offences were reported and work is on-going to trace the suspect.
“Our Safer Neighbourhood Team increased their patrols locally as a reassurance measure. These patrols will continue this week.”